Making cocktails has been an interest of mine dating back to my early twenties. I was fascinated by drinks that tasted great but weren’t simply masking the flavor of the spirits involved. While throwing some vodka in twelve ounces of juice certainly makes a drinkable drink, it lacks something in the romance and presentation department. Making a drink can be a soothing ritual. When I made my first Long Island–at a time when I abhorred both gin and tequila–with just a splash of soda and touch of lime I was hooked.
How could something that was basically just booze be so delicious?
That said, I am not a mixologist and have never tended bar. I am however, an engineer, and I live for improving things where I can. I get to make drinks for Michelle and myself at home and enjoy striving for perfection as well as keeping things interesting. Otherwise, we’d probably just drink negronis or whiskey all the time. While there are worse fates, it’s easier to keep an appreciation for your favorites when you toss in a martini, daiquiri, aviation, or martinez every once and a while.
So about daiquiris…
When I think of a daiquiri I picture a vat of frozen sugar syrup, probably topped with some whipped cream and fruit. It’s a cruel fate for a spirit *already* derived from sugar cane. I realize this perception comes from laminated menus the size of doormats from places where a sane person probably wouldn’t be ordering a cocktail. Outside of a mojito, rum was dead to me (aged rums are a different story). It wasn’t until recently that I realized that the daiquiri is the rum version of a margarita.
Rum (2oz), lime juice (.75oz), and simple syrup (.75oz) are all you need for the traditional daiquiri.
Simple syrup is easy to make. I use an electric kettle to bring some water to a boil, measure out a portion and stir in an equal amount of sugar. It should look clear when it’s done. You can make more than you need and store it in the fridge for future cocktails. If you use this method with boiling water and a good, clean container, your syrup can last for up to a month in the fridge.
Fresh lime juice is important. Anything else tastes notably different. A hand press is an incredibly useful and affordable tool.
Shake the three ingredients over ice until the shaker becomes so cold that you don’t want to hold it (30-60 seconds). Coupe glasses make everything classy.
It’s light, tart and delicious. A perfect summer cocktail. It’s also easy to tweak. Michelle and I prefer a bit more bite to our daiquiris so I make sure to have just a bit more lime than simple syrup. Hopefully this simple drink will bring rum back into your life. It has for us.